- Lizard in a Zoot Suit by Marco Finnegan
- Samurai Cat in the Real World by Mark E. Rogers
- Jack Vance’s The Face (Demon Princes, Book 4)
- Jack Vance’s The Book of Dreams (Demon Princes, Book 5)
- Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, Vol. 1, by Various Artists
- Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, Vol. 2, by Various Artists
- Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping by Matthew Salesses and The Anti-Racist Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom by Felicia Rose Chavez
- Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, Vol. 3, by Various Artists
- Wanderhome, by Jay Dragon
- Elements of Fiction, by Walter Mosley
- Hidden Folk, by Eleanor Arnason
- The Wages of Whiteness (Revised Edition) by David R. Roediger
- The Katurran Odyssey by David Michael Wieger, illustrated by Terryl Whitlatch
- Dragons (Time Life Enchanted World)
- May We Borrow Your Husband? and Other Comedies of the Sexual Life by Graham Greene
- Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada by Anna Brownell Jameson
- The Cursed Chateau by James Maliszewski, illustrated by Jez Gordon
- Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention—And How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari
- Dinotopia: A Land Apart From Time by James Gurney
- Mouse Guard: Baldwin the Brave And Other Tales by David Petersen… and a song!
- Mouse Guard: The Owlhen Caregiver and Other Tales by David Petersen
- Thieves’ World edited by Robert Lynn Asprin
- My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
- Fish F*ckers by Kelvin Green
- Saga Volume 1 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
- Scourge of the Scornlords: Meatlandia Book III by Ahimsa Kerp and Wind Lothamer
- Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas
- Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating by Jane Goodall
- The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell
- Sirenswail by Dave Mitchell
- Roman Britain by David Shotter
- Saga, Volume 2 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
- Menace Under Marswood by Sterling Lanier
- The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui
- Muse Sick: a music manifesto in fifty-nine notes by Ian Brennan
- Backwoods Witchcraft: Conjure& Folk Magic From Appalachia by Jake Richards
As with other posts in this series, these #booksread2022 posts go anywhere from a few weeks to a month after I’ve read them. I read this particular book last week, though!
Backwoods Witchcraft is kind of a memoir of Appalachian folk magic. This is the second book by Richards I’ve given a look. The first—Doctoring the Devil—was more recent, but also not particularly interesting to me: it’s more of a highly organized magical cookbook than a cultural history, and not the sort of thing I was really after.
Unfortunately, Backwoods Witchcraft ends up feeling a bit like a less-well-organized stream-of-consciousness magical cookbook with family and regional memoir and some folklore thrown in. I skimmed it for a few occasional interesting bits, but didn’t get much from it, beyond being astonished that people living in our modern world still believe you can make someone fall in love with you by soaking your toenails in liquor for three days, straining it, and then giving it to the person you want to fall in love with you, or that magical little people dwell in the woods, or that you can do magical things with your urine.
Well, okay, I’m not that shocked that people still believe such things, but yeah, it’s always going to shock me a little. More interesting were the bits struck me as fascinatingly particular and bizarre at the same time, like the assertion that Moses—yes, as in, that Moses—enjoys offerings of cornbread.
I suppose I’d hoped that the account had been written at a much farther remove from these traditions, something that could give me a bit of insight into the work of Manly Wade Wellman or the stories in the Old Gods of Appalachia podcast, but instead found a somewhat unexciting magic textbook, which is of little use to me since I don’t believe in this stuff at all.